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largest producer of marijuana, closely followed by the united states. the find is a decisive proceed to organized crime. thanks very much for watch. i'm wolf blitzer in the situation room. for our international viewer, world report is next. in north america, john king usa starts right now. good evening, everyone. tonight syria kills more of it citizens just because they want political reforms. plus a new study says all that information you can find on the internet comes at a steep price. and we don't mean money. but first up, a fight that is about money. your money. and as we learned again today, it's about politics, too. at issue, whether big spending cuts should be locked in before the government is allowed to borrow more money to pay it bills. president obama held his second news conference in a week tells you the biggest headline. there is no deal. so the politicians from the
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president on down are trying to prove they're the one most looking out for you. >> it would be very helpful for us to be able to say to the american people our fiscal house is in order. >> the president wassed a today month that it's impossible to get a deal unless and until the republicans agree to raise some taxes. in turn, republicans say that before he spends anymore time lecturing them, she stop giving press conferences and put his proposals down on paper. but in the hunt for specifics, it is crystal clear the president is not ready to take the lead. >> if they show me a serious plan, i'm ready to move. even if it requires some tough decisions on my part. >> a lot of questions tonight about where this is heading and how it will impact you. the president's initial deadline, tonight, will pass without a deal. so what next? donna edwards is among the democrats warning the president don't count on my vote if any deal involves big changes to medicare and social security.
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gloria borger has spent the day and the week working her sources on the negotiations. also with us david gergen. the president of the united states today having a second news conference. the theme, the republicans have come to at the end of the week, is mr. president, you're the president. lead. put a machine on the table. you put the specifics. you go first. the president has made clear, no. should he? >> yes. i've been surprised all along that the white house has been so reluctant to reveal what its own preferences would be. it's a political man you're to not attract controversy. john, if in fact the white house is working as the senate which appears what's going on to shape some kind of compromise around the mcconnell plan, the public really deserves to know what those cuts are.
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i have to support significant cuts, but we need to know what's involved if you're going to cut the budget by a trillion to a trillion and a half over the next ten years. >> i thithat's plenty to critic everybody here.republicans have gone back and forth and some republicans are quite adamant no tax increases at all. i want you to listen to the president's answer. he was asked why can't you support a balanced budget amendment requiring the federal government to balance its brunlg either. here's his answer. >> we don't need a constitutional amendment to do our jobs. s constitution tells us to do our jobs and to make sure government is living within its means. >> can the president carry the day on that argument and again the republican response is, well, mr. president, your budget didn't layout these spending cuts. when a deficit commission you proposed laid out a whole wunsch of cut, you said good idea but
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didn't want to get involved in the specifics. but the president has the bully pulpit in terms of he thinks he's winning the argument. can he carry the day? >> in theory, everybody thinks that a balanced budget amendment sounds fabulous. it's an easy vote and republicans will get it and they'll take it and they know that it won't amount to a hill of beans a in the point. so it's an easy vote and a difficult argument to make. what you're saying may also have resonance which is we're paying you to do the work today. we don't want some promise down the road of a balanced budget amendment. how about doing your job today which is what the president was saying. >> republicans are saying give us your cuts first, i think one of the reasons the white house is reluctant to do that is
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because it gets letters like us from our other guest here and others. this is let's frer two dozen democrats saying don't touch social security and don't touch medicare. is that part of the issue here on both sides, republicans have their ideological holly ground, taxes, they won't budge. and democrats have their ideological holy ground, no way, mr. president, don't touch it. >> it was 69 democrats, more than just a couple dozen. so i think it really was -- or democratic caucus and through our leadership speaking with great clarity about our desire to protect medicare and social security beneficiaries from cuts. >> any cuts? let's spell it ut. >> i think as our leadership has said, looking at and protecting the long term solvency and sustainability of social security medicare is very important to us. i don't believe it needs to be in the context of this conversation. in fact i think this political debate is exactly the wrong one
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in which to discuss those safety networks for the american people. >> you had the president today in his press conference talking about the possibility of means testing medicare, which means that welfare, medicare recipients might pay more for their policy, right? >> the president said let's not talk specifics because if that's true, heck, i'd like to throw out there raising the cap on social security this which would put a lot of money for people who are very wealthy into the system. but again, i don't think that we need to have that conversation here. social security is actually not the cause of our long term debt. let's be clear about that. so why inject into the argument -- >> he agrees that it's more a medicare issue, but he says if we're having a big tough vote, we might as well do changes to social security, too. which brings us to an important point. we're not looking at a deal and picking apart the specifics. david to you first.
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i thought after the election this was supposed to be one of those things, this is a big one, the ability of the united states government to borrow money. there's no choice until you get on a path to fiscal sanity. the world is watching. so shall this is one of those moments write thought this transformational president was going to make washington different, where everybody was going to come together. congresswoman edwards saying i don't want to you touch medicare and social security, but i'll have an open mind. republicans don't want to raise taxes, but we'll come in with an open mind. what happened to that? >> john, the country has become so deeply divided even more so than during the bush years. i don't think any of us believed they could get more divided than during the bush years. but essentially what's happened here is the president came in with facing this crisis in the economy, felt he had to do some big things. also wanted to move forward with
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his health care plan. he made a lot of -- was behind a bold move from nancy a pa low city and others and then there was a push back from the country that seblt the republicans with a different mandate to shrink the size of government and now we have this titanic clash between two very different philosophies of how we should govern ourselves and it's getting very personal and it also is getting very destructive for our credit ratings, but also for our reputation around the world as a well governed country. >> and wouldn't the president have been in a better position if in january at his state of the union address he had said i he endorse the work of my deficit commission and gone on the record a little bit earlier. >> the calculation that all of washington has made, not just president, is that the economy would start growing faster by now. they were hoping washington
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would have more money by the time they got around to making these tough decisions. on the floor of the house today, sheila jackson lee said she thinks this president is being treated differently because of this. >> i'm particularly sensitive to the fact that only this president, only this one, only this one, has received the kind of attacks and disagreements and inability to work. only this one. read between the lines. what is different about this president that should put him in a position that he should not receive the same kind of respectful treatment of when it is necessary to raise the debt limit in order to pay our bills? >> if listen to your colleague, she's suggesting republicans are treating this president
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differently because he's black, not because they disagree on policy grounds. >> i think that's a lot of difference with the president and with republican leadership and its party on philosophical and ideological grounds. >> that's a significant statement to say that they're treating the president -- what's difference in the only thing different -- it's an easy conclusion. do you agree? >> i don't really. others may have different opinions, but what i think is here we have a circumstance where we have this president really trying to stand up in a big and bold way and republicans pushing back on the simplest thing such as raising the debt ceiling. and i think that we've reached a moment here where the president is right, we have to fish or cut ba bait. the world market depends on it and it's time to do the right thing for the american people. i think the president is a big president, he says that he can
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defend himself and i think we have to stand together as democrats to fight for our core principles and values for the american people p. i think the american people get that. the majority right now are saying you know what, leave social security and medicare out of this conversation. let's raise taxes on those who have had a break for the last decade and need to pay more and let's get our deficits and long term debt under control. >> the republicans control the house, so there have l. hawill some give in that. thanks for coming in tonight. and ahead tonight, it is carmageddon weekend in los angeles. tom hankss has some advice for you. plus violence against reform demonstrators in jordan and a big obama administration move regarding libya. [ male announcer ] introducing the ultimate business phone --
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protests. and with though those protests, sadly deadly violence. nearly two dozen were killed by security forces in syria. that's according to human rights groups. and in jordan, riot police lashed out at 4uhundreds as the made their way to a reform rally. let's start where you are in jordan. we haven't spent as much type focusing on it. what is it specifically the protesters there want? >> they want to see an elected government. the cabinet and the prime minister now are selected by the king and they also want more freedoms. what we saw today was the pro reform ghdemonstration setting t there were loyalest individuals who were around the area. the police were there saying that they were trying to keep these two groups apart. they have clashed in the past. as the demonstrators reached their final staging ground, all of a sudden we saw the riot
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police charging in, beating them back, using their riot shields, using batons, kicking and punching them as well. we saw a number of individuals wounded being carried away. one thing is also clear and that is that these demonstrators are growing increasingly frustrated with the slow pace of reforms that have been promised with bu haven't materialized. >> more demonstrations and more deadly violence. the question many are asking is are we going to see demonstrations every friday or is this building, spreading to a point where perhaps the regime might actually be in danger? >> activists say and video posted to youtube appears to show syrian security force uses gunfire to try to disperse demonstrators in more than one location in syria. and the actibeing activists say aren't going to talk until the government brings about an end to this targeting.
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the government saying it is again targeting these armed groups saying the security forces were deployed to protect the demonstrators. so as long as we have these two completely contradict taker narratives, it will be incredibly difficult to bring both sides to the negotiating table. and most certainly the activists we were talking to say they do realize that it is going to be a listening and potentially very bloody road ahead. >> sober reporting. thanks. tonight the libya rebels trying to ought gadhafi have the official blessing of the united states government. secretary of state clinton traveling in turkey today where she explained why the united states has now sdwied to recognize the opposition as libya's that jit matt governmle. >> the united states is impressed by the progress made in laying the ground work for a
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successful transition to a unified democratic libya which protects the rights of all of its citizens including women and minority groups. >> this designation gives the rebels more stature and potentially more resources. the united states can now transfer for the national transition con sill assets of the gadhafi regime being held frozen in u.s. bank accounts. ben wedeman is live for us tonight. ben, to the rebels who have been asking for this recognition from the united states for months, who does this mean? do they view it as significant or it too little too late? >> reporter: they do view it as significant because as you alluded to, they're desperately in need of money. we spoke to the finance minister of the transitional national council, and he said they're suffering from a profound cash shortage. they need money to buy food to feed people because banks have been closed in this part of libya for months.
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and they need money to buy weapons. what we've seen time and time again is that they're not lacking for enthusiasm, but what they don't have is the heavy weaponry that they need to move forward. we saw them rita a town, but they had the usual assortment of weapons. sort of heavy machine guns. they do have a couple of tanks in this area but they say they're low on ammunition and they need more money to carry on. >> ben wedeman live for us. thank you. let's get context from fran townsend and a professor at the hoover institution. fran to you first. the significance here. i want you to listen, the united states recognizes the opposition as the true governing authority
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in libya. omar gadhafi doesn't like it, he tells his people. react. >> translator: this is our answer to all the decisions they took against the libyan people. >> trample on them. so gadhafi asking those who support him to go to violence. how significant is this step from the united states? >> it's tremendously signature. the rebels now will have access to the money frozen in these accounts in the united states fp they've been recognized by other goem governments around the world. the next question that will face the united states administration is does that mean you're going to provide arms. this has been a very controversial discussion. frankly what they really need to doimmediately is to put more pressure on nato to increase the bombing runs that really did seem to have an impact on gadhafi and the stability of
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those around him. and so this is a very important piece, but they need to support this in other ways using other tools available to them. >> what is the burden on the rebels themselves? people in the united states say they haven't proven they have their act together or once they take a town, not only can they hold it, but can they build public support. sdl we never really gave the rebels the help they needed and the help they deserved. and in fact let's remember that the libyan upheaval erupted in february 17. so here we are five months later, we were five months late american policy. better than late than never and these people need access to the money. fran is right. do we arm them or not arm them? if they have the money, they have access to weapons. and can he thept saying to this libya opposition prove your democratic credentials.
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it was a high barrier when they were spacing the forces and the mercenaries of gadhafi. >> and you make the point better late than never in labor i caib. how about syria? we know the administration is increasingly tougher in its rhetoric against assad. is this enough? >> i think we all share the same opinion that what we are seeing from the assad regime in its false promises and accusations is not being translated into any path forward for the syrian people and it is ultimately the responsibility of the syrian people to choose and chart their own course. >> no question it is the responsibility of the syrian people, but should this administration be doing more to help them? >> reporter: look, john, the american ambassador gois to the rebellious city of hannah and he's greeted not with tomatoes
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and eggs and protests, he's grut t greeted with flowers and people throwing olive branches at his car. so people are welcoming american help and again in the case of syria, two months ago secretary clinton was still holding out hope and now here we are 1700 people have been killed in syria and now finally we've come around to acknowledge he must go. second clinton said it very well again, she said bashir is not indispensable and we have nothing invested in him remaining in power. this is a change in the administration's posture and it tells us that we've been late catching up with the arab spring and with the rebellions. >> we'll keep an eye on it. appreciate your insights. next back here in the united states, we'll ask the mayor of los angeles about carmageddon. it's just hours away from starting. if you don't understand what it is, we'll explain on the other
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our crosswalk logo comes in extra handy tonight because out in los angeles, it is carmageddon weekend. if you've ever been out in the l.a. area, you know the 405 freeway. you move up the 405 up through the valley a little bit, right
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up here is where car mamageddon all about. they're doi major construction which will require them to shut down the freeway. why are they doing this? going to add ten miles of hov lanes, construct 18 miles of retaining walls. so it will be shut down for 53 hours, a ten mile stretch. 250,000 cars a day go through there. now, that's one issue there. this is why this matters. because they're going to shut down a highway that looks like this on any given day. this is a pretty good scene. i've been in the middle of it. so let's touch base with the man who will probably get no credit if it goes well, but a lot of the blame if things are stuff. the mayor of los angeles is with us from our l.a. bureau. carmageddon sounds like a horror
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movie. what are you expecting? well, it doesn't have to be carmageddon and what we're expecting is that things will go smoothly. they'll go smoothly if people take heed. for three months we've tried to outreach to our city to say to people stay at home, plan ahead, barbeque, go on vacation. but don't get in your car and go to the west side, the south valley or west valley. the fact of the matter is as you said, there are hundreds of thousands of cars that go through this overpass and for 53 hours, stay out of your car in that part of town. and if they do, i think things will go very, very well. but as you said, i'll be there on monday when they go well or not because that's what comes with the job. >> that's what comes with being a mayor. you get the kick me sign. comedians are having a lot of fun with this. i want you to listen to a sampling of what i'll call the pop culture comedy.
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>> this is the big one, folks. increased traffic on two off peak days. you know what that means. someone might have to walk someplace. >> some of the local news stations here are trying to help commuters with alternative root routes. >> if you want it avoid the 4 on 5, i suggest cutting through cold water canyon. just pull over and crawl down the embankment. make your way through the tall grass. once across the bridge, dump? deer creek and swim through the underwater cave. this will take you to the main sewer line which brings you out to the 101. it's as simple as that. >> it's pretty funny, mr. mayor, to watch this stuff. the question is when people watch, do they get the message and think stayoff the road or do they just think it's a big joke? >> let's hope they don't think it's a big joke because it really isn't. we are enghanaged in unpreceden
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preparations. just to highlight a few of the things, to make sure that we have our emergency responders there, we're going to divide that area in four quadrants, we'll have lapd and fire resources all along the way so that they can go to neighborhoods should there be an emergency. we're working with ucla hospital and all of the hospitals in the area to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible. so as i said, thereme won't an carmageddon if people take heed. in they do, there will be traffic that makes though pictures that you were showing pale in comparison. >> it's an interesting experiment, because the lapd has reached out to a lot of celebrities, and i want to sho

John King USA
CNN July 15, 2011 4:00pm-4:31pm PDT

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TOPIC FREQUENCY United States 11, Us 9, Syria 6, Libya 5, Los Angeles 4, Gadhafi 4, Washington 3, Clinton 3, Ben Wedeman 2, Audi 2, Motorola 2, Geico 2, United 2, Bashir 1, Fran Townsend 1, Omar Gadhafi 1, Carmageddon 1, Mr. Mayor 1, Assad 1, John 1
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